After some delay in shipping, the Windows Live team has now updated the public downloads and the Release Candidate of the Windows Live Essentials Suite is now available for free download. The Windows Live Essentials include Windows Live Mail 2009 RC, Windows Live Messenger 2009 RC, Windows Live Photo Library 2009 RC, Windows Live Movie Maker 2009 RC, Windows Live Writer 2009 RC, and Microsoft Outlook Connector 2009 RC for Windows Live Hotmail. The Windows Live team states:
We’re getting very close to the final release. But before we get there, we’re refreshing the beta versions one more time to make sure we’ve ironed out all the kinks. […] We’re working hard to get the final versions ready to go as soon as possible. So let us know what you like and don’t like, and if you’re running into any issues that we need to take care of before we take the “beta” tags off.
You can download the latest Release Candidates for free directly from http://download.live.com/ . However, the only download you will get there is the Web Installer. If you prefer the direct downloads for offline installation, you would probably refer to the direct MSI downloads (English-only at the moment).
Installing the new versions is as easy as it was with the previous versions, because the team has again packed a tiny installer. Of course, you won’t see it when using the direct MSI downloads linked above.
You will see more posts about using the current Windows Live Essentials Release Candidates in the next hours/days. The only thing I can already tell is: The current beta version of Messenger Plus! Live (4.79.342) is already compatible with the latest Live Messenger RC (14.0.8050.1202). If you wonder about skins, we’re looking at it and will tell you more soon.
Last but not least, this is what the new notifications look like: